cover image A Tangle of Knots

A Tangle of Knots

Lisa Graff. Philomel, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-399-25517-5

America’s got Talents in this cozy novel from Graff (Double Dog Dare), set in a contemporary world in which certain people have specialized abilities, from levitation to spitting perfectly. Eleven-year-old orphan Cady has a Talent for baking—not only does Cady create the most delicious cakes around, she innately knows what someone’s “perfect” cake is. When she gets adopted, her Talent helps unravel the mysteries of her past, but it also puts her in danger of losing her ability. Set mostly in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Graff’s story has a warmth and gentle humor that, along with the premise, calls to mind Ingrid Law’s Savvy. The author flips neatly between the perspectives of multiple characters, and the intricate connections between the narratives come together in a pleasing way as secrets are revealed. Readers who share Cady’s love of baking will appreciate the inclusion of several cake recipes, like Marigold’s lime pound cake and Mrs. Asher’s honey cake, which are mentioned throughout the story and tied to key characters. Ages 8–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (Feb.)